Olivia Yancey

Olivia Yancey

Greetings! My name is Olivia Yancey. I am a certified Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (K-12) and I have been working at SESA for 5 years. I studied at Barton College and Vanderbilt University. At Barton College, I learned how to teach using total communication. At Vanderbilt University, I learned how to teach to listen and speak with and without their assistive listening devices (i.e., hearing aids and cochlear implants). Since graduation, I have worked with various students with communication modes including: American Sign Language/English, total communication, and listening and spoken language. My goal is to support Alaskan school teams provide students with hearing loss equal access to education and communication.

Kelsey Koenigs

Kelsey Koenigs

Hi! My name is Kelsey, this is my sign name. I am sharing this vlog with you so that you can learn a little more about who I am and what I do at SESA as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing education specialist. I am a certified Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, with a background in Bilingual-Bicultural education. I graduated from Boston University, four- thousand miles away from Alaska. My role is to provide consultation to education teams in rural Alaska that serve DHH students. I recommend resources and assessments that will equip the teams to better meet their students’ unique educational needs and provide opportunity to access communication successfully. You can contact me at any time via phone, video phone, or email. I look forward to meeting you, working with you, and seeing your DHH student succeed.
Events
Understanding the Link Between Listening and Spoken Language

REFERRALS

Who is eligible for SESA’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing services?

  • ALL of the following must be true
  • Students from ages 3 to 22-years old.
  • Students enrolled in a public K-12 school.
  • The student has at least a 30 decibel bilateral hearing loss.
  • Live in rural areas that do not have access to a teacher of the deaf.
  • The student CAN have additional mild to severe disabilities.

What is SESA’s role in the educational team?

  • SESA’s services are provided at no cost to school districts.
  • SESA provides consultation to school districts.
  • Although we often interact with the student, we do not provide direct service to the student. We can’t be written into the Individual Education Plan (IEP) as a service provider.
  • We do not provide interpreter services.

How can SESA help?

  1. Visit the school to support the educational team.
  2. Assist in the development of the educational programs, assessment, assist in the development of appropriate educational goals for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students.
  3. Arrange on-site visits based on site needs.
  4. Provide resources such as ASL videos and books.
  5. Train staff in educating a student with a hearing loss.

How do I refer a student?
You must have permission from the custodial parent(s) and the special education director.

You will need:

  1. The student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  2. Evaluation Summary and Eligibility Report (ESSER)
  3. Medical records showing a hearing loss (look for an “audiogram” or “audiological report”)
  4. Referral Checklist
  5. District Referral Signature
  6. Mutual Exchange of Information (MEI)
Eligibility requirements for services are taken from the State of Alaska's Special Education Handbook. Children can qualify under either deafness or hearing impairment. To be eligible for special education and related services as a child with deafness, a child must:
  • Exhibit a hearing impairment that hinders the child's ability to process linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification and that adversely affects educational performance; and
  • Require special facilities, equipment, or methods to make his or her educational program effective; and
  • Be diagnosed by a physician or audiologist as deaf; and
  • Be certified by a group consisting of qualified professionals and a parent of the child as qualifying for and needing special education services.
To be eligible for special education and related services as a child with a hearing impairment, a child must:
  • Exhibit a hearing impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects educational performance but is not within the meaning of deaf; and
  • Require special facilities, equipment, or methods to make his or her educational program effective; and
  • Be diagnosed by a physician or audiologist as hard of hearing; and
  • Be certified by a group consisting of qualified professionals and a parent of the child as qualifying for and needing special education services.
Communication Modes

1. What is LSL? (Listening and Spoken Language)

“…the goal of Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) is the same: to combine early identification and intervention with appropriate hearing technology to enable a child with hearing loss to develop language skills comparable to their hearing peers by the time they enter first grade.”

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (2019). Listening and Spoken Language. Retrieved on August 23, 2019 from https://www.agbell.org/Families/Listening-and-Spoken-Language

2. What is TC? (Total Communication)

“Total Communication (TC) is a philosophy of educating children with hearing loss that incorporates all means of communication; formal signs, natural gestures, fingerspelling, body language, listening, lipreading and speech. Children in TC programs typically wear hearing aids or cochlear implants. The goal is to optimize language development in whatever way is most effective for the individual child.”

Hands & Voices (2014). Communication considerations: Total communication. Retrieved on August 22, 2019 from http://www.handsandvoices.org/comcon/articles/totalcom.htm

3. What is ASL? (American Sign Language)

4. What is BiBi? (Bilingual-Bicultural)

American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete and complex visual language with it’s own grammatical features dissimilar to English. ASL is expressed through the hands, facial expressions, body movements such as role shifts, and the use of sign space. ASL is fundamental to the Deaf community, the development of a Deaf identity, and Deaf culture.

Bilingual-Bicultural education involves two languages and two cultures. Bi-Bi education of DHH children allows children to use American Sign Language as their first language and English print, writing and reading, as their second language. The two languages are taught separately but are developed concurrently. Students are taught about Deaf identity and are immersed in the Deaf community and culture. Simultaneously, they are taught how to navigate the mainstream culture.

Staying Connected

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